Louis-Philippe-Antoine BÉLANGER

BÉLANGER, Louis-Philippe-Antoine

Personal Data

Party
Ralliement Créditiste
Constituency
Charlevoix (Quebec)
Birth Date
April 17, 1907
Deceased Date
June 14, 1989
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis-Philippe-Antoine_Bélanger
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=7e134016-1c54-47e7-b57d-cb2bb1cba33d&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
clerk, forester, land surveyor, machinist

Parliamentary Career

June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
SC
  Charlevoix (Quebec)
April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
SC
  Charlevoix (Quebec)
September 1, 1963 - September 8, 1965
RA
  Charlevoix (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 37 of 39)


October 30, 1962

Mr. Belanger:

Mr. Chairman, although I am somewhat of a reformist, I agree that there are certain traditions which deserve to be respected. Among these, is the practice of congratulating the Speaker, through you, for his elevation to such a highly responsible post.

There is another tradition to which I wish to conform; it was initiated by the previous member for Charlevoix. I wish to dwell in my maiden speech, on the beauties of the great constituency which I have the privilege of representing. My constituency is bounded to the south, on its whole breadth, by the noble and majestic St. Lawrence river, which in that section, is so wide that it affords some suggestion of the splendid expanses which it crosses.

By the way, I must point out that the constituency of Charlevoix should be called Charlevoix-Montmorency as it comprises two counties.

Ways and Means

This district which includes high mountains and high plateaus ranging away from the St. Lawrence, is studded with small towns, villages and parishes, and is embellished with many well-stocked lakes and streams which make it a haven for the fishermen. But there are still some large wooded areas which supply the raw materials to the only two large industries in my riding, the newsprint plants of St. Anne Paper Co. Ltd., in Beau-pre, and the Donohue Brothers, in Clermont. There are also encouraging signs of a wealth of minerals underground.

Mr. Chairman, in that magnificent constituency that I have just outlined as far as its geographical formations and its natural resources are concerned, live some 50,000 people, the majority of them in dire poverty and misery. I know, because I crossed the riding in all directions, and I have met with many people in all walks of life, that there are numerous slums there and families by the hundreds live on the meagre allowance meted out to them by the social welfare agencies. Besides, what applies to my constituency applies unfortunately to the great majority of ridings in Canada.

The majority of the population in Canada live in poverty, while the present production is abundant and the possibility of a greater production is demonstrated by the great number of unemployed in this country. We, Canadians, have the right and the means to enjoy the highest living standard in the world, due to the diversity and extent of our natural resources as well as to the excellent organization of our production system. And all this, incidentally, is due to private enterprise.

In the speech from the throne, as has been the custom in the past, we were told of measures to promote exports of our products to other countries. When at last shall we have a government willing to look around and find out that we have here in this country's population an open market, willing to use at least a very important portion of the production we wish to export elsewhere.

To develop this natural market, all we need is to provide Canadians with the proper purchasing power since that is what they are waiting for to consume our commodities and produce some new ones. Why should it be a good thing to grant credit to foreign countries in order to help them buy our products if it is bad to do the same thing

for the Canadian people. We already have the necessary means for redistributing purchasing power. All we have to do is to raise family allowances, disabled pensions and all other pensions paid under the existing social legislation, and if that is not enough, we could add a national dividend. In my opinion, those steps to increase the purchasing power need no justification. Common sense and plain social justice tell us that it is ridiculous to keep family allowances at about the same minimum level which was established in 1945. Why are we afraid of doubling family allowances and of revalorizing them? Why should we hesitate? Our families can put the money to good use.

In my riding, a great many heads of family earn only $30 to $40 a week, that is when they are not out of work. I wonder if the government we have supported until now to enable them to find a prompt solution to the problem, realize what it is to be unemployed. A man who is out of work is not just a number; he is a human being with pride and honour, with a family he loves with all his heart.

Through its lack of dispatch in taking the emergency measures required to change that situation, I wonder whether the government realizes that it is not only lowering and humiliating the jobless as well as causing him, his wife and children some physical harm, but that it is also ruining that first and most important cell in society, the family.

What is beyond me is that the government did not hesitate to take strong but unpopular measures to save the dollar. Why is it that it hesitates so much to take the measures needed to save the families? What is more important in the country: the human capital or the financial capital? The family or the dollar?

Mr. Chairman, I think that in order to be able to treat an illness intelligently, one must know at least the cause of it.

I do not know if the present government, as the previous one, really knows what are the causes of unemployment. Here are a few which I consider to be the main ones.

First, a relatively faster increase of the work force in the last 30 years or so. In fact, through its discoveries, medicine has made great strides and it now enables doctors to save a much greater number of babies at birth. The babies of 25 years ago have become today's new manpower; they consti-

tute the ever-increasing number of workers who enter the labour market every year.

There is also the reduction of exports. During the post-war years England and the European and Asiatic countries produced relatively little, and they exported even less because of the destruction they had endured. Today, however, they have reorganized their industries, they are producing at full power and, because of their low standard of living, they can undersell us and compete with us most aggressively.

All countries follow the absolutely ridiculous principle of economic liberalism which states that one must export or die, as if a higher standard of living could be achieved by emptying a country of all its goods. What happens is that exports are becoming increasingly difficult because everybody wants to export rather than import.

In addition, the replacement of man by machinery is a very important factor. About 50 years ago, the human energy used in production was 20 per cent, today it is only 3 per cent. Moreover, because of centralization of production in large plants and because of the fact that work is specialized, to the point that one plant will manufacture only one product, more machinery is being used and automation has reached such a degree that nowadays plant workers are mere robots who repeat constantly the movements dictated to them by their machines. This is a further illustration of how matter dominates spirit, a situation which is on the increase in every field and which our materialistic socialists would like to develop even more with their planning.

And now sale prices. Prices, inflated by taxation, are going up all the time and are getting out of reach for an increasingly larger number of people; products remain unsold and that results in what is called overproduction. However, that is not so in many instances but rather a case of underconsumption.

There is also another factor causing unemployment. It is the impossibility to purchase all that we can produce. There is a difference between the cost of an article and its sale price-and here I do not take into consideration the profit which is redistributed. In establishing a sale price there is an element taken into account which is not distributed because it does not exist, and that belies the

Ways and Means

principle so dear to the economists that consumption finances production. That factor is the interest paid on money borrowed in order to produce such an article. This interest is not created by anybody, but it must be paid nevertheless. Chartered banks create credit and destroy it, but they never create interest.

Mr. Chairman, it is absolutely normal to say that if I borrow a bag of potatoes to sow them, I could be in a position to give back two bags or even more because it is natural and normal for potatoes to multiply. But for dollars it is entirely different and with St. Thomas Aquinas, I say that dollars cannot breed. In other words, let us take a concrete case-

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Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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October 30, 1962

Mr. Belanger:

We never said that. You are saying that.

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Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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October 30, 1962

Mr. Belanger:

-which applies to every industry. Take for instance a man who borrows $10,000 at, say, 5 per cent and who invests the amount in a shoe store. This man puts into circulation $10,000 after undertaking to repay $10,500 a year later, when he has only $10,000. It is an impossible proposition and it goes against any arithmetic system to turn this around to $10,500, but if the man can succeed in raising the $10,500, it will be due to several factors and also because somebody else will have gone bankrupt. In other words, a debt will have been born which in turn will bear interest and so forth. The vicious circle will go widening and debts will also accumulate.

Because all money in circulation is money that has been borrowed some day or other at interest, all those who put money in circulation want to get back more than they have invested. This turns around a physical impossibility and in the end it generates overproduction and debts. I would rather say that it engenders underconsumption and consequently unemployment. On the other hand, gentlemen, one should not draw the conclusion that we are against interest on personal loans; we are not, and it is precisely because we are not against interest that we are advocating monetary reforms which would solve the problem already submitted to the house.

Mr. Chairman, let me tell the government that there is a way to solve the unemployment problem. But if they are reluctant to

Ways and Means

face all at once the unemployment problem, they should at least try to find a solution to the problem of the unemployed.

To understand exactly what is this problem of the unemployed, one has just to compare two unemployed workers. The one is unemployed because he wants it that way. Let us suppose that due to certain circumstances, his parents left him enough money to enable him to lead an honourable life without having to work for a living, nobody will blame him for not seeking a job.

As far as he is concerned, there is no need to recall the famous law of work from the Genesis, which reads as follows: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread" because that does not apply in his case. Our first unemployed provides for his family, he has no financial problems, he is happy and does not bother the government.

But our second unemployed is not working because he is unable to find any work. He has no money, he has to beg for a meal, and the government nearly goes broke investigating whether or not he actually is about to die of hunger; and before he is granted anything, he is warned not to ask for too much because the Bible says: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread". That applies to him, for he can hardly eke out a living for his family. That becomes an acute problem for him, and he is an acute problem for society. However, Mr. Speaker, these two unemployed are two human beings alike, the two families are alike. The only difference between the two, luckily for the former and unfortunately for the latter, is that one has money and the other is without it.

So the logical solution for the government is to try to solve this problem by increasing the purchasing power of the latter so that both will be happy. That is the Social Credit's solution. Up to now, the other parties, including the socialists and communists, have sought an answer by taking money away from some people, through taxes, in order to give it to others. In this way, instead of distributing wealth, they distribute poverty and tend to level all social classes by downgrading them.

That is why we suggested to our electors during the last election campaign-and we are now asking the government-to introduce as soon as possible an imaginative program of which I should like to point out a few items that I feel are most urgent.

One of the reasons for our supporting this government up to now, is that we wanted to give them an opportunity to provide assistance without delay to the unemployed who

expect a great deal from the government. The survival of the government depends to a large extent on the legislation passed in the next few months.

That is why, Mr. Chairman, we on this side are asking, on behalf of the people:

1. Increased family allowances.

2. Increased old age pensions, and the age limit brought down to 65 for everyone. Furthermore, we should like to see abolished that anomaly according to which when one of the spouses has reached the required age and is otherwise eligible for old age assistance, while his spouse is not, both are condemned to live on a pension designed for a single person. I wonder where is common sense and logic in that. We are therefore asking that, whenever the head of the family is entitled to the old age pension, his spouse, even if a little younger, be eligible also.

3. Increased tax exemptions, from $2,000 for married persons and $1,000 for single persons as they are now, to $5,000 for a family and $3,000 for unmarried people. For several other reasons, such a change is justified by the fact that the exemption, when established was to represent a vital family minimum and that any tax over and above that would be unfair and exaggerated. Now, since then, the dollar has depreciated so that what could be bought at the time for $1,000 now costs $2,000. That principle is so true that it has been recognized by the Liberal government, when it decided to grant a $4,000 exemption to members of parliament. I do not think any single member has criticized that action, which was in fact quite justified. But what is logical and good for members of parliament is just as good for workers and farmers. We are asking for such a measure but we do not want its implementation to result in increased taxation or increased debt.

I thought that this statement would have brought our main opponents, the Liberals, to refer to "funny money". When I say "our main opponents, the Liberals", Mr. Chairman, I do not mean that they are more important than the others but, since the beginning of this session, intense fire on their part has been aimed at our group, as if we were responsible for the present economic situation.

I am not complaining about those attacks; on the contrary, they have made me realize that their methods and their political tactics

are the most devious, the most hypocritical you can find in this country, which I suspected in any case.

Our English speaking friends have a nice little word to describe them-they call them "snaky". Their attitude toward us, especially during the debate in reply to the speech from the throne consisted in trying to have the public believe that they wanted an election, while we know-everyone knows it, and they know it best-that they did not want any. In fact, every Liberal who has made a speech has invited us to vote with them, but their invitation was an insult to our group. They wanted to make quite sure that we would not vote with them.

You have a good example of that in the typical speech made by the hon. member for St. Jean-Iberville-Napierville (Mr. Dupuis). It seems obvious that he is the one responsible for our education and quite often he will brand us as ignorant, using different words to that effect. Well, in his speech, in a great flight of oratory, he referred to "consignats". Mr. Chairman, I looked everywhere in Larousse and Quillet, I could not find that word. Does it mean that he is more intelligent than we are, just because he found that somewhere?

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October 30, 1962

Mr. Belanger:

In this corner, we readily understood that he only meant to insult us so that we would not vote with his party.

On the other hand, the hon. member for Niagara Falls (Miss LaMarsh) took it upon herself to try to put our conscience at ease and urge us to vote with the socialists.

She quoted an item from the Ottawa newspaper Le Droit which reported a statement made by a Catholic bishop, and that, just after she had dwelled upon socialist planning. This was intended to have us believe that the bishop recommended socialism. I daresay that we have our own guides in this matter and, to quote but one "Quadragesimo Anno", where his holiness Pope Pius XII stated, under the heading "Changes in Socialism" the following:

Catholic and socialist are contradictory terms:

If, like all errors, socialism contains a certain element of truth, it is nevertheless founded upon a doctrine of human society peculiarly its own, which is opposed to true Christianity. "Religious socialism", "Christian socialism" are expressions implying a contradiction in terms. No one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true socialist.

Before I conclude, I should like to come back to the famous phrase "funny money" and give you a definition of it. Talking about

Ways and Means

funny money, I must say that I see on my right, in this house, funny members who do not seem to know what funny money is. I know that coming from me a definition would not give them satisfaction, so I took the trouble of finding one which is not my own but was given by a citizen of Toronto in a Toronto newspaper. Here it is:

( Text):

Aside from gold, Krug turns his attention to the nations that favour other forms of money, such as silver, copper, nickel, zinc, aluminum or iron.

Such nations, he says, issue notes, either directly or through their central banks. Unless it is backed by gold, such money is usually referred to as printing press money, fiat money or funny money. Whether the notes or currencies are designated francs, lire, drachmas, pesetas, rubles or dollars, they are simply names representing a certain weight of gold for international use. When gold disappears the currency becomes unsound, unstable and destined to lose value in terms of the rural money. Gold is the final measuring rod by which the various commodities and currencies are compared and exchanged.

(Translation):

And the strangest thing of all is that "funny money" is supposed to be money not guaranteed by gold.

Now in reply to a question asked by a member of our group, we were told that at present there was no gold to guarantee our money. Hence it is true that the money we have at present is "funny money".

Who gave us "funny money"? One thing is certain, it was precisely those who talk about "funny money" today, that is, since 1940, when the Liberals were in power and passed legislation to abolish the obligation to guarantee money with gold. We have had "funny money" ever since. There is no need to look elsewhere.

There is another short article that the government could usefully hear. The same Mr. Krug says:

(Text):

Mr. Krug says the financing of federal deficits is easily accomplished because the money system, for domestic purposes, is no longer fully tied to gold. Today a dollar, for domestic use, is merely an engraved piece of paper which the government or its controlled central bank has the exclusive right to print. It is a promise to pay nothing.

(Translation):

Mr. Chairman, I am just a white collar worker, if you want to call me that, but as I wish to be of service to my country, to my province and to my riding, I dare give the government the following warning: an economic system which, after 100 years of operation, leaves a federal government over

Ways and Means

its head in debts, provincial governments, local governments, school boards covered with debts, an economic system which operates properly only in wartime, such a system is obsolete, unsuitable, inadequate and, as was advocated, that you have nothing to lose by replacing it as soon as possible.

The sooner the government decides to act upon our suggestion, the better it will be for them, the country and for each and every citizen.

On the other hand, I should like to say here something very personal which I have never discussed with members of my party but, before doing so, I should like to make it clear that this is only a personal opinion.

In all sincerity, I want to warn the English speaking press in Canada that it should not ignore the existence of a separatist movement in Quebec at the present time. True, that movement may not yet threaten national unity and our group has no separatist tendencies, for the time being.

However, if Canadian newspapers in the English language persist in turning into ridicule and most shamefully misrepresenting we Social Credit members as a backward group, if they keep on lying to the people about Social Credit and denying us the right of having our doctrine and our actions interpreted faithfully, our country will greatly suffer from it. In so doing, the press will stir up strife between people of both cultures and cause our group to become separatist. When we lose this hope of being understood by all Canadians some day, a hope which guides us today, it will then be very easy to go through the province of Quebec, preaching and practising separatism and establishing Social Credit, which will enable us to give Quebeckers what we want for all Canadians.

As far as I am concerned, my patience is coming to an end and if, within a few months, I see no improvement in this disparaging campaign by English speaking newspapers, I shall be the one to make that proposition to my party.

Mr. Chairman, before concluding my speech I should like to make once again, but in a different way, a proposition I made to the government.

Last week end we were on the brink of war. And I ask the government: if war had actually been declared would the government have found the money required to carry on?

Undoubtedly, we would have found the money for our defence, it is sure that we would have taken the necessary steps for the protection of our country, our way of life and our freedom.

Now, is it not just as important to defend our families and our children and prevent them from dying of hunger in a country of plenty. In closing, I ask the government to act as soon as possible in order to cure this disease of our civilization which pretends to be refined and progressive, while it lets unemployment plague the country.

(Text):

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Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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October 30, 1962

Mr. Belanger:

Right.

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Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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